Saturday, July 7, 2012

I Am Athena, Hear Me Roar

     Oh, I just got my nomination form from the Chamber for the Athena Award, the anachronism handed out as a tip of the hat to Helen Reddy and 1970s feminism, even though so many women have and are succeeding in a variety of fields. Actually Athena is the goddess "of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill." That sets the bar a little high for a two page nomination form.

Athena....Back in the Day
       Frontrunner for the award is likely Tilted Kilt owner Doreen Garrett who is just finishing up a stint as head of the Zoo Board.  In addirtion to being a bar owner, Doreen owns a successful defense contractor based in Lyons Falls.
        Oh, that nice lady, Lynn Pietroski who runs the Chamber, would also be a good candidate. There are always the usual suspects like heads of not-for-profits, bankers, college executives, health care czars and any number of government employees.
        Not on the list are cops, roller derby players, nurses, waitresses, Wal-Mart clerks, enlisted folks, housewives, reporters, politicians, madams or pop music stars.
        And by the way, the instructions for nomination leave the window slightly ajar for a man to get the Athena Award if they "forge paths of leadership for other women to follow."  A lot of guys would be self conscious about the honor, so I wouldn't be quick to nominate anyone.

Governors Time Signing of Bills for Maximum Impact

        For those who follow the path of legislation in Albany, its always a mystery whether something will pass and then whether it gets signed, or vetoed or just left on the table to automatically become law.
       Governor Cuomo's pen holds significance for those with a stake in a special purpose law like the one on pensions for 12 local people caught in a snafu the making of others.
       Other laws get signed for maximum impact from the press office, like those road namings signed on the eve of July 4.
        Do they still teach, 'how a bill becomes a law' ?
Governor's desk cleared, for now - Times Union

Study: Property Tax Breaks Don’t Work

     This week the Town of LeRay, under intense pressure from the professionals, approved a payment in lieu of tax deal for a long troubled on-post energy plant on Fort Drum.
    The stated reason of course is jobs, jobs, jobs....
     A study released recently contends tax breaks for business are largely ineffective and are bad public policy.
     The reasons ?
      The taxes in question are a small portion of overall operating costs, the tax breaks are so ubiquitous, they have no effect in directing development to blighted areas and the tax breaks deplete the ability of local government to provide services.
        Such reasoning is heresy as PILOTS and abatements have become the standard giveaway.
         Those pols who initially voted against the PILOT in LeRay were eviscerated by the political establishment and quickly backed off when a little more money was thrown on the table for the Town.
Property Tax Breaks Don’t Work » The Rochesterian

Molly The Otter Goes On Exhibit Saturday At Watertown Zoo

A new otter went on exhibit this week at the Thompson Park Zoo. Molly was born earlier this year.

This coming week bids are expected to be in for the learning center project devised last year after Zoo officials said the 30 year old aviary no longer fit in their plans.
The hope is the learning center can be equipped with technology to allow classroom presentation via the Internet for area schools unable to make field trips. The building will also be used for smaller gatherings and social events.

If Council approves bids, construction should start in September.
Molly The Otter Goes On Exhibit Saturday At Watertown Zoo | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Advocate: Obama is the New Lincoln

   Some of the luster from 2008 may have faded but there are still those enamored with the hope and change guy in the White House.
    The Advocate is a LGBT publication of long standing and it has endorsed Mr. Obama with a cover photo that attaches his head to the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Memorial.

     I have a feeling it won't be long till the calls start to break out the chisels and put a fifth face on Mount Rushmore.

Got Beer? Arizona mother arrested for allegedly putting beer in 2-year-old son’s sippy cup   - NY Daily News

   No, I don't think I'd be giving beer to a two year old, especially in a public spot....but remember growing up when dad would give let you taste his can of beer at the beach or at a picnic ?
     Beer in a sippy cup is the extreme case and the lady needs some good judgment...but the ban on any consumption of anything in any setting until you are 21 only creates its own set of problems.
     Got Beer? Arizona mother arrested for allegedly putting beer in 2-year-old son’s sippy cup   - NY Daily News

Cuomo, The Bobblehead Doll

      Capital elites will surely flock to "The Joe" in Troy Monday night as the Valley Cats baseball team gives out 1500 Andrew Cuomo bobblehead dolls.
     That's cute...but it would take a Liz Benjamin bobblehead to get me to drive all the way to Troy. Cuomo, The Bobblehead Doll

Obama: 'I need to gain some weight' - Washington Times

     President Obama is looking thin lately, but what guy his age wouldn't want to go without the extra baggage the years afford us.
    Obama: 'I need to gain some weight' - Washington Times

WDT: Gillibrand To Help Owens in Her Former CD

      Both Bill Owens and Matt Doheny are focusing on selling themselves to new residents of the North Country's Congressional district. The three counties added are Washington, Warren and part of Saratoga.
     They are GOP leaning and Team Doheny figures the gerrymander benefits them.
     Enter Rep. Owens, who will employ the former Congresswoman from the region who is now a US Senator poised for a lopsided relection.
    Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand will be employed to introduce Mr. Owens to the three counties. Ms. Gillibrand defeated long time Rep. John Sweeney a few years back before being chosen to fill out the term of then Senator Hillary Clinton.
      If you want to meet the candidates for Congress, plan a vacation to Glens Falls....It is a lovely part of New York State in the fall.
Watertown Daily Times | Gillibrand to campaign with Owens

Trust Sets Up Own Payroll to End "Leased" Employee Arrangement With County Agency

   The Watertown Local Development Corporation voted this morning to hire two staffers who had been running the agency under a contract with the local IDA.
    The LDC, known as the Watertown Trust, makes loans and is the economic development arm of the City.
     The NYS Comptroller had ruled the employee lease arrangements were inappropriate uses of the State Retirement System and  the Trust will now just employ its people as any private company would. I had proposed doing the same thing in 2009, when Comptroller DiNapoli first raised the issue.
     The hirings take effect August 1st.

WDT: City to Apply Again for Fairgrounds Improvements

    City Council will once again this year seek funds for a major series of improvements to the Fairgrounds Arena, which is the go-to spot for various events and activities.
     Council backed my request to again submit an application to the Regional Economic Council based on increased commercial use of the facility, in part due to the placing of a hockey team at the Arena.
      The City will continue to make incremental improvements to the Arena, but the larger project proposed would more quickly solve issues related to public assembly.
Watertown Daily Times | City will seek state funding for ice rink improvements

Waiving Fees is a Slippery Slope We Have Been Down Before

       City Hall has been criticised for collecting fees outlined in the city code. Since nobody likes to pay fees, there are requests for waivers. One request got traction in a Channel 7 story.
       Let's have a Paul Harvey moment and take a look at the "rest of the story."
      This is not the type of story that the news media just happens to want to uncover. It's the type that was shopped in order to pressure City Hall to waive fees.
       On Monday, lawmakers received three requests to waive various fees. In all cases it was because the user was a "not for profit." Council rejected "waiving" fees, despite knowing that news stories like this would be the result.

        Events for kids, events for soldiers, events to benefit the challenged. Most everything held at the Fairgrounds involves an arguably laudable cause. Last year the City repealed an ordinance for chair rental when the same type of story was on the news.
     Council also has approved two years in a row a $5,000 appropriation to DPAO for their concerts and the city constructed a pavillion requested for use in these events.
       The modest fees do not offset all the costs associated with running a Recreation Department, nor are they intended to. They do serve as a reminder what is received has value, and frankly one thing that Council wanted to end was the practice of waiving fees as it had, in part, resulted in situations like the Arena Gate scandals outlined in a scathing audit done in 2011.
         If there is not going to be a fee for something, the law should be changed. Otherwise the law means nothing as why wouldn't everyone ask for a waiver ?
           We recently had a situation like that with field rentals for softball tournaments where the fee structure, when applied, resulted in unintended high fees. Rather than look the other way, the law was changed to something more fair.
           Council expects staff to implement the ordinances on the books and I for one support our new parks superintendent when she enforces the rules as written.
            If someone wants a fee repealed, there is a legislative path to do that, although its a process that should occur earlier than the day before an event.
Feedback: City Charges Mobile Home Fees for DPAO Concerts | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Owens Says There Will Be At Least Three Debates....Doheny: Ditto

      Democratic Congressional candidate Rep. Bill Owens has drawn first blood in the arguments over televised debates by declaring he will participate in forums in Watertown, Plattsburgh and Glens Falls, covering the three principle media markets in NY21.  Republican Matt Doheny Thursday night affirmed his desire to debate on live television or cable.

     Debates are politically multi-faceted. There is the demand for debates...the argument over venue and format....and finally the debate itself.
      Candidates are wary of debates and want to make sure they control the optics and reach....In NNY there is little folo up coverage or analysis of whatever meager debates are held. It would take a major faux pas to break thru and do damage....
     Both Mr. Owens and opponent Matt Doheny are solid enough talkers to hold their own.
     The mystery is will the duopolistic media barons exclude Green Party candidate Donald Hassig.
      I am sure they will. 
      And besides, you don't do favors for people too indigent to buy air time.
      I hope to attend the debate in Fine.
Owens planning for at least three debates

Sanchez Ups the Ante in Publicity Battle With Tebow....Dates Hot Cougar Eva Longoria

        JETS quarterback Mark Sanchez has been struggling to stay relevant of late, now that Tim Tebow is in town...
       Today Sanchez took the headlines back as news leaked out he may be dating desparate housewife star and older woman Eva Longoria.
       JETS fans are spending the summer scratching their heads over how star starter Sanchez can coexist with God's QB.
        The Longoria move certainly makes Sanchez look like a player.
Eva Longoria and Mark Sanchez Sneak Out for Secret Dates | WebProNews

Krol's Final Day.....And The New Manager to be Subject of Editorial

   It was a nice gathering of City staff this afternoon to say goodbye to John Krol, who ably served since February as recruiter and interim manager.
   Today his successor learned from the best as Sharon Addison met the flock and then headed across the street for an editorial board meeting at the Watertown Daily Times.
   You know in all the years in public life, the only E-board meeting I attended was when Tom Golisano was in town in 1994 and I helped show him around.
   I have met with the last two publishers several times, but never the editorial board...
   I always wonder what they do and who they are.
   If I ever get invited, I will reveal their identities on this blog.
   Whatever editorial is written on Ms. Addison, I will link to it here, unless I disagree with it.

Getting the Nickel Tour Before Grabbing the Helm

    When you are the fresh set of eyes coming to run City operations, everyone surely wants to offer you their own set of rose colored glasses. City Manager designee Sharon Addison is doing a lightning round at City Hall today, meeting staff and getting the quick briefing on current issues.
    Ms. Addison has finished her duties with the National Security Agency and starts as manager on the 16th.
    City Manager John Krol and I met with her this morning to offer our observations, caveats, two cents and best counsel for getting off to a good start.
    This afternoon, staff will bid farewell to Mr. Krol as it is his last day, although he is available for really big emergencies through the 15th. We don't anticipate any.

Mitt Pivots....Says Obamacare is a Tax After All

     Now he says Obama Care is a tax...but only after GOP insiders lambasted him for not agreeing with the Supreme Court's notion of the President's plan.
    Mitt Romney also emerged from his NH home yesterday to again claim that his own plan in neighboring Massachusetts was not a "tax" and instead a "penalty".
     Mr. Romney implemented a mandate for health insurance while he was governor of the Bay State.
     Candidate Romney's insistence that is own plan was different doesn't wash. It was pretty much the same thing. If he has changed his views, that's OK, but the fact is Mitt Romney is not that much different from Barack Obama.
Mitt Romney reverses course and calls ObamaCare mandate a “tax” -

WDT: The Usual Suspects Want More Laws as War on Drugs Faces Another Setback

      There has been so much said about the latest chemically induced highs from substances called "bath salts" and "window cleaner" that there surely will be new laws from Albany.
      The drumbeat is starting, and I wish folks wouldn't indulge in substances that are potentially so dangerous.
       Having lived through the whack-a-mole war on drugs, it is easy to be skeptical about the prospects for halting the seemingly endless desire to escape reality.
Watertown Daily Times | Local health, police officials concerned about rising ‘bath salts’ use

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

WDT: Out with the old, in with the new (yard signs)

   We are getting closer to November, so the tru believers will start putting out lawn signs.
    The WDT spotted a new Patty Ritchie sign with the slogan "She's Looking Out for Us."  on it.

     I would have gone with the "Have a Bowl of Chili With Patty"  slogan.
Watertown Daily Times | Out with the old, in with the new (yard signs)

Women 'deliberately post ugly photos of friends online' - Telegraph

  It's bad enough how many personal photos people post on line that they may regret later. A survey shows one in four women will post unflattering photos of former friends in swimwear as a means of getting even.
  Spite-posting is just one more reason to be skeptical of social networking, even though all of us are at some level adicted to seeing what's going on.
   That's why I never have done dunking booths or those "arrest for charity" events. Just don't want the photos in the public domain.
Women 'deliberately post ugly photos of friends online' - Telegraph

Addison Gets Look at New Job Tomorrow

     City manager designee Sharon Addison will visit City Hall Thursday for a quick chat with me and meetings with City Manager John Krol and city hall staff.
     Ms. Addison begins her duties on July 16 and will be in charge of city operations, budgeting and the roughly 350 employees.
       Ms. Addison comes to the job after 27 years at the National Security Agency and is a native of Schenectady, NY.  She was hired after a recruitment this spring that attracted three dozen applicants who were whittled down over a series of meetings involving City Council and Mr. Krol, who was overseeing the recruitment.
       Tomorrow, Ms. Addison will get an overview of pending issues and Mr. Krol's read on personalities.
       Ms. Addison will also venture to the Watertown Daily Times for an editorial board meeting.

“Furious” Tom Cruise jets home to California -

   Will she come back ? Many do, and add in the cultish sect of Scientology she was forced into and the Top Gun star may lure Katie Holmes out of her Chelsea bunker and back into his arms.
     In the meantime, Tom Cruise is mobilizing lawyers and sect members for the divorce and custody battle ahead.
     Katie is in for some tough times ahead.
“Furious” Tom Cruise jets home to California -

WDT: Don't Do This at Home....Feds Go On Goose Hunt

    Federal teams swarmed a marshy area of Wellesley Island recently to capture and kill 120 Canada geese. The birds were sent to a food processing plant and the feds graciously announced the results of their slaughter would be sent to a food pantry for the poor.

    I guess they felt the birds might pester an airport or were too noisy, or something.
It's reassuring to know the lengths Washington will go to protect our borders.
Watertown Daily Times | Feds capture, euthanize Canada geese at Wellesley Island

New Highway Named for General

     The 4.9 mile Interstate 781 spur connecting I-81 to Fort Drum will bear the name of a recently deceased general who played a large part in the planning and building of the current post.
     Governor Cuomo has signed a bill to desgnate the road in honor of Gen. Paul Cerjan.
Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation to Designate Route 781 as the Paul Cerjan Memorial Highway | Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

1000 Islands Skydeck for sale at $2.5-million Still No Buyers

     Efforts continue to sell the 1000 Islands Skydeck on Hill Island. So far some Chinese investors have looked at it but no one has bit at the $2.5M price tag.
     Its's neat building and an example of 1960s futurism.

     Maybe Homeland Security could buy it just to keep an eye on things, rather than be setting up all those road blocks that make cigarette buyers at the res so nervous.
1000 Islands Skydeck for sale at $2.5-million

WDT: Taking Buildings a Result of Owners Non Payment and Lendors Taking a Pass

       The eight properties the City will acquire for back taxes represent an unusual situation in recent years.
       A strong real estate market and demand for housing has meant someone usually protects the property by paying the taxes whether that be the owner of record or a lien holder or someone who buys the tax sale certificate as an investment.
       Not so in the case of six residential and two commercial properties this year. A few years ago, I remember the City acquiring a similar number and auctioning them off.
       One doesn't lose property easily. For instance, failure to pay the city tax bill this August would result in the property being sold at tax sale next spring. That triggers a two year redemption period in which full payment cancels the results of the tax sale.
       The property owner and lien holders are notified of the proceedings.
       Sometimes lien holders pay the taxes on behalf of the owner of record if the property has sufficient value to justify a work out with the lendor or a foreclosure proceeding. Sometimes the lien holder takes a pass and that likely happened in at least a couple of these cases.
       While the City has the right to sell a property at private sale instead of auction, there are recent controversies over that practice, in part because the former owner is rewarded because the tax seizure erases the claims of lien holders (except for federal tax liens.)
       Whatever happens, it takes a four-fifths vote of Council to approve a sale.

Watertown Daily Times | City to take over ownership of Fort Drum Storage as a result of delinquent taxes

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fracking Chemicals in Hot Dogs......

   The hydro fracking industry is letting us know that some of the chemicals used in their process of mining natural gas are used in a variety of common products from bug spray to hot dogs.
    Bug spray is bad for you and frankly so are hot dogs.
     There is little reassuring in the report.
Fuel Fix » Guess what’s in that hot dog? Yep, a fracking chemical

Staffers Fill in at Parades During Presumed Honeymoon Absence

       Doheny campaign staffers are participating in four July 4th parades around the district without the candidate UPDATE.....The Couple is indeed participating in the parades
           The campaign released this church photo of the wedding. I didn't see the ceremony due to a fear of crowded rooms and the congenial staff at Skiff's who kept us there till the ceremony was over.
           No matter whether they had a honeymoon,  the staff at MGV wishes them a fun trip away from the prying eyes of the North Country media.
          PS.  Still no word on who the heck was in that helicopter at the wedding, but a key County Legislator tells me tonight it was indeed flying low.

WDT: New Districts Will Require More Tire Changes than a NASCAR Race

   That 20 year age difference may be a help for Matt Doheny is what will be a grueling battle of geography as he and Rep. Bill Owens travel back and forth across the sprawling 21st CD. The matter is made more challenging with three key counties added to the district where both candidates have to become known.
    Expect the pair to concentrate on Washington, Saratoga and Warren Counties.
    When trying to overcome the spin shopped by your opponents there is no subsitute for having voters see you. That's a strategy being used by Mr. Doheny and it's not surprising as that was advice he gave me last year. The only difference, 12 square miles vs a land mass larger than some states.
Watertown Daily Times | New district will require geographic balancing act

Adriano Espaillat Makes Rangel Scramble for the Win

    Rep. Charles Rangel probably did win that primary but will have to spend some money to prove it. The battle of election lawyers in on in NY13 as State Sen. Adriano Espaillat has withdrawn his concession and says his narrow loss to Rangel is a Florida style election where no one really knows who won.
   Sen. Espaillat alleges voter supression and Mr. Rangel is urging his supporters to fund the legal defense of his apparenet narrow win.
   The Congressman may prevail, but needs to know the gig will be up by 2014 as his own party members are doing the unthinkable by pulling out all the stops to get the 21 term lawmaker out.
Adriano Espaillat withdraws concession in Rep. Charles Rangel challenge -

Just Don't Wash 'em Down With a 32oz Soda

   Mayor Michael Bloomberg loves to tell people what to eat, so why doesn't he put the hammer down on the egregious display of consumption of hot dogs this Wednesday on Coney Island.

   The Nathan's contest is a display of gluttony that you would thing the guy who banned trans fat and wants to ban large sodas would be aghast over...
    But this event is a publicity stunt and promotes commerce, so helping with the weigh in is OK.
NYC mayor, who’s big on health initiatives, will oversee annual hot dog contest weigh-in - The Washington Post

WDT: Owens Not Ceding the Race

      The race for Congress is the only real race on the ballot for NNY voters this fall and while the recent Doheny wedding has taken up a lot of space here lately, one shouldn't think Rep. Bill Owens is without a strategy.
     A new video is out showing Mr. Owens as a hands on (as in attentive), moderate man you can trust.
      It's a big district and personal contact will matter a lot as candidates seek to cancel out the image of them painted by their opponents spin meisters.
       Watertown Daily Times | Owens unveils online campaign video

Monday, July 2, 2012

City To Take Title to Eight Buildings and Auction Off

   City Council said go ahead to filing deeds to take title to eight properties lost through tax deliquency. This includes a warehouse storing cars for soldiers and a tattoo parlor famous for years. Five houses and a garage are also included. It is expected the properties will go to auction in September.
   Lawmakers also rejected a zone change for Washington Street parcels and Council okayed a $12,500 appropriation for the County Historical Society and $5K for the DPAO Summer Concert Series.
    New Police Department leaders were introduced and Council honored departing City Manager John Krol who's last day in the office is Thursday.  The appointment of new manager Sharon Addison was ratified. She starts July 16, but will be in City Hall this week to be briefed on the lay of the land.

Former Owners of Tax Delinquent Warehouse Want it Back

  I knew it was going to be a challenge when I read on Friday that the City was on the verge of taking title to West Main Street warehouse sold two years ago at tax sale and not redeemed by the deadline..
   The building is full of stored cars from GIs and now the building's owner is telling city staff they didn't know taxes were due and want to buy it back for what was owed.
   The property and seven others will likely be sent to auction when vacant, although City Council can do what it wants.  However, passing through public ownership even for a day obviates previous non government liens. Remember that laundromat a few years back.?

Blogs...a Guilty Pleasure and a Burr Under the Saddle

      Those people who say Saturday's wedding of the year was too political don't get it.  It's like saying there's too many cops at a police officers wedding...or too many teachers when a NYSUT member gets hitched.
      Events reflect the people involved and that doesn't bother me...
      What always interests me at these events is how many people I don't know come up to tell me they read this blog religiously . They even cite a recent story to prove their allegiance.   When I am told the bride's mom absolutely has to meet me because of a blog...well you know the media world is turned upside down.
       Normally a local pol has a reach limited by what the media provides plus local social contacts.
       Now I see why this blog galls traditional gatekeepers and creates a love/hate relationship with operatives who crave the exposure (like the photo all weekend on Newzjunky) but are paranoid I am not willing to be a house organ for their employer. Kind of like the way people  suck up to and yet fear a Walter Winchell or a Bob Gorman.
        My fellow Mayor Bill Nelson wanted his and his friend's photo on the blog, meanwhile elsewhere on the island nervous staffers  looked at me like a lurker or a tracker, bordering on a gawker.
        That's because they want to get publicity but also maintain the mantra that it's just another wedding...a private Bill Owens trip to Taiwan.
        There was a ferocity in traditional media circles when Scott Gray started up his Political IV site a couple years back....They couldn't stand direct contact to the great unwashed. Scott was forced to back down.
       It was similar with me, but I didn't do it anonymously. Now all of a sudden thousands of insiders read my missives about things others think is either not news or beneath them to cover. Besides, everybody and their brother had all sorts of photos on Facebook quicker than I.
       It's not that out of control. I don't have an MGV chopper...not yet.

Stadium Beer Law Just Latest Fade in Stature for Once Special Sunday

   Will efforts to allow alcohol sales at stadiums on Sunday mornings be on more nail n the coffin of blue laws slowly giving way to the secular view that Sunday is just another day in the week.
    Used to be stores were closed until the Wal-Marting of America made Sunday a day retailers could not afford to skip.
    In the booze biz, it used to be liquor stores were closed, then that changed. Golfers and campers got beer allowed on Sunday mornings but only in stores. We cling to the noon opening for bars and restaurants but that may be next, and it likely should be.
    The notions of a day of rest in honor of a deity has faded and Sunday is more and more just another day.....

Repeal antiquated liquor laws - Denise Jewell Gee - The Buffalo News

Veteran Officer Named Captain of City Police

      I would have told you last week, but the media likes to wait till the press release. 
I thought they would ask the question last week when word leaked that Capt. Gary Comins would be named provisional police chief. Who would take the Capitain's slot ?
      Nobody asked, so the city manager filled in the blank today with word veteran officer Cheryl Clark will be the new second in command at the department.
       Other changes will be made to back fill a lieutenant and sergeant post.
       Congrats to the new management team at the PD.

Council Members Sans One Turn Out for Reception

   City Council members are not usually the type to be at social events, but three of the four were basking in the summer fun at the Doheny reception on the St. Lawrence over the weenend, perhaps an indication of their own interests in future city elections.
   Mr. Doheny is a city resident and a key player in local politics, something that will only increase if elected to Congress. A Congressman on Paddock Street will be a force in local elections.
    Council member Smith ran a close race for Mayor last year. Councilman Butler has made his intentions clear and Councilwoman Macaluso faces reelection next year but may also harbor ambitions.

          It's no shocker someone in politics would have friends in the same endeavor, but I just haven't seen such a Council turnout in some time.

Rangel’s Victory Margin Shrinks in New Vote Tally -

      Turns out the margin of victory for Rep. Charles Rangel is a lot less than thought on primary night and his opponent is lawyered up in case further recounting tightens the race even more.
      State Sen. Adriano Espaillat made it close for the 21 year incumbent in a district where the primary really is the election.
      What is clear is that the term ahead is it for Mr. Rangel as the close call with a total well under 50% is evidence the people in Harlem are ready for a change.
Rangel’s Victory Margin Shrinks in New Vote Tally -

Holiday Falls Mid Week as Peak of Summer Arrives

     It's a different type of work week ahead as the July 4th holiday falls on a Wednesday, splitting the week in half.
      Among the traditional activities related to the Fourth is the concert in Thompson Park, performed by members of the former Syracuse Symhony Orchestra. Local band Fred and the Eds also plays in the Tuesday night event held in the park.
      There is no HOTLINE program on Wednesday as well.
       Tonight's City Council meeting should be interesting as lawmakers bid farewell to City Manager John Krol who wraps up his duties in the office later in the week.
      I noticed the new Chipotle's Restaurant was open over the weekend, raising the bar for Mexican fare in town.
       So far Summer weather has been great up here and considering the dire situation in other parts of the East Coast, we are doing well in the summer of 2012.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Lot of Interest in Gossipy News....Better Known as Life

    Over six thousand people have clicked to our coverage of the Doheny wedding. Thats about one third the daily circulation of the local paper.
     There is an interest in our political leaders and what they do is news. Sure, its easy to say its only news if it hits the police blotter, but there are other things too.
     Marriages and divorces, bankruptcies and judgements, illnesses and addiction,all sorts of things.
     Trouble is covering personal stuff queers the symbiotic and sometimes incentuous relationship newsmakers have with those who decide what is news.
     Today's gossip is tomorrow's news is one mantra...That's not always true, but it often is.
     Today it was reported a City Councilman in Ogdensburg got a DWI.  That's on the news.  If I were to get sued that's news, but if a Congressman drives 30 mph over the limit or a senator is sued for divorce on grounds ot mental cruelty , that's not news.  
      If the DWI Councilman had been fighting child support in Family Court and kids were going without, well that wouldn't be covered.
     Media is hesitant to cover weddings after a couple decades ago the prominent bride of an aspiring Congressman danced on a table at her reception. How do you report that in the Times ?
      It's easier to day, "oh that's not news."

Hollywood Bad Boy Alec Baldwin Marries Young

   The man who used to be married to Kim Basinger is now resigned to May-December romance. 54 year old Alec Baldwin is marrying whi 28 year old yoga instructor.
   Present at the wedding was director Woody Allen, who knows a thing or two about that topic.  

Alec Baldwin wedding: Star says 'I do' to yoga instructor Hilaria,28, while daughter Ireland weeps... | Mail Online

Why Can't You Wash a Car and Make Money Doing It ?

    The entrpreneurial spirit and capitalism has been so beat down, two young ladies trying to make some extra cash by washing cars on a Saturday afternoon spent a good deal of time answering questions about who gets the money.

    Two young ladies held a car wash Saturday at Fort Pearl and did quite well for their time spent. They worked for four hours in the hot sun with the goal of earning some cash.
     Nobody asks who gets the money at the Precision Washes in town. Why should everything be a dressed up as a benefit ?
     I applaud Emily and Taylor for taking their time and their sweat equity and earning some cash instead of waiting for their EBT card to be reloaded so they can go shopping.
     They are going to do it again on July 28, so get your ride dirty.
     You want your car washed by a machine, it costs ten bucks. You want your car washed by two attractive and personable young ladies, you should pay more. It's the immutable laws of economics at work.

Missing Dog in Area of Thompson Park

      A dog is missing in the Hamilton Street area of the City's south side. His name is Duke and he is a five year old Golden Retriever.
   Call 408-8898 if you find him.

WDT: Education Elite Unable to Do It for the Children When It Comes to Boundaries

     The professional educators...the ones who care so much about the children...should be ashamed at their failure to resolve the most egregious example of parochialism one could imagine.
    I was the one who brought to light the dilemma kids in the Creekwood Apartment Complex will face when most of them will live in the City within spitting distance of an elementary school, but will be herded on busses and driven five miles to Glen Park because decades ago some then empty land in the Town of Pamelia was placed in the General Brown School District.
     The kids are just human chattel.
     The system will not yield to common sense, but the City School Board can. Students in this off situation should not be punished. Tuition should be waived and these children should be allowed to walk to nearby North Elementary School.
     I wonder if all those people who carry on about Army families or any families for that matter will join in the call to do it for the children, because the six figure professionals have clearly let them down.

Watertown Daily Times | Creek Wood students still will be split between school districts

Wise Ass Students Get to Walk to School

   Those four students who harassed a Rochester area bus monitor are going to be walking to school for a year and doing community service for their abhorent behavior.
     Meanwhile, bus monitor Karen Klein has received $667,000 from folks who saw her plight on the Internet and chipped in.    
     Let's just hope the parents of these students don't indulge them by going out of their way to transport the lil' darlings.
Greece students who harassed bus monitor Karen Klein suspended one year | Democrat and Chronicle |